Regarding Voldemort


We’ve recently got a bunch of comments about “bringing back Voldemort.” I want to address them real quick.

For those of you unfamiliar, in December of 2010, RMNB replaced the normal design of our site with a collage of sad images (seen above). It was part of our “panic protocol” during the Caps’ pivotal eight-game losing streak under the harsh lights of HBO’s 24/7. The Caps ended that slump by switching from a successful, offense-focused system (which we at the time called “scoar moar goals”) towards a meeker, less successful, and much less fun “trap” style (which I now call “Beat Dat Beat Up“). As we restored the site back to cheerful red and blue, we didn’t yet know the real dark stuff was yet to come.

No, we won’t be bringing back Voldemort now or any time soon. For all their losses, the Washington Capitals of December 2010 were still much, much better than the Washington Capitals of March 2014. “Going dark” was our way of joking through one of those occasional and inevitable valleys among a whole bunch of peaks and making light of fan freak-outs.

What’s happening now is different. I don’t want to laugh it off.

Back in 2010, we made fun of fan freak-outs because they seemed silly and warped considering how great the team was overall. Now, I totally understand and sympathize with RMNB readers who have chosen to stop watching. The Caps aren’t fun to watch anymore. It’s hard to make a joke out of that. At least not a funny one.

I still believe the Capitals will get better, but I don’t know how and I don’t know when. In the meantime, I’m gonna stick around, thick and proud, with the RMNB crew. And we’ll keep trying to make hockey as fun to read about as it is to watch.

Wish us luck.

  • It wasn’t Halak in MTL 2010. THIS was the exact moment the Caps took a wrong turn.

  • And this was me that same night. I can’t do 30 pushups now.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I miss the young guns, BB, and the offense and everything.

  • Tom

    You could say the images were anti-semin-tic

  • “Adversity is a good teacher. This could be the best thing that ever happened to us.” I think that’s a paraphrased quote by Evason of Boudreau from HBO 24/7. Oh the irony.

  • Matt Lauer

    It’s the whole lack of fun thing that absolutely kills me about this team. I’ve seen that since the beginning of the season. They look so unbelievably sluggish in every game. And the general lack of intensity looks, to me at least, like the mark of a team that has been demoralized to its core. I’m getting to the point of pity.

  • Chris Cerullo

    What kills me is how close that 2009 team was and then of course 2010 had to happen.

  • disolitude

    I thought that despite their 2010 Presidents Trophy, Caps had the best team and chances to win the Cup in 2009 playoffs. Guys like Sergei Fedorov brought a certain level of calmness to the team that doesn’t even exist today. When 2014 Caps lead I tend to be more worried than when they are down by 1. If it only wasn’t for those pesky Pens in 2009…

  • Rob W.

    RIP Matty P

  • Kevin Parlett

    They are fun to watch on the power play, so these last two games have been a nightmare.. The power play also leads to clouded judgement from GMGM / Teddy L’s on this team.

  • I agree.

  • Ryan Deem

    “I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies” -Ash

  • Hockey mom

    It is a bummer, because it’s hard to have faith when it seems like they have given up. It is especially sad, because if this isn’t a team that is truly “in it to win it”, then at least let’s fill the roster with guys who seem to love playing hockey and are giving it their all win or lose every night.

  • Hockey mom

    Maybe we all need to do some push ups before the next game! I did 25 today, but I guess it just wasn’t enough….

  • Jack Conness

    Bruce Boudreau for sure. We have to find a way to steal him from Anaheim.

  • Owen Johnson

    Win or lose you guys make following this team fun. Please don’t stop what you do!
    And party?

  • JH

    Clearly all the trolls on this board are getting to you. All is not lost, and with the talent in the pipe we have a bright future.

  • disolitude

    I think they all want to win. Ovi tries, Brooks tries, everyone is trying… They can try all they want but it wont work since the system they are playing is just wrong for this team. If Caps want to play dump and chase, shut down defense, choke the puck with board battles style of hockey, they need to trade half of the team and get guys who are willing and capable of playing this type of game. You really don’t need guys like Ovechkin and Backstrom if you want to be the next New Jersey…

  • Hockey mom

    All is not lost, in the grand scheme of life, but it (almost) is the context of this hockey season.

    As such, there is a certain amount of “grieving” that has to take place for the “dream” that isn’t going to come true this year. And rightfully so, we have some great players, but just haven’t been able to capitalize on our strengths and fortify our weaknesses.

    There’s no going back in time, and it is starting to feel like it was just a waste for the players and the fans, too…

    I’m still going to watch to the last minute, so RMNB, please don’t give up, I will need you to make it through!

  • Alicia

    I think the whole situation can be resolved if they bring back Matt Bradley so he can make everyone laugh again. Someone has said laughter is the best medicine, so maybe it can help fix a team’s spirit.

  • alchemistmuffin

    A lot have to happen off season, regardless of not making the playoffs (more likely) and making the playoffs (not gonna happen unless something awful happens to wildcard team right now)

    1: The GM has to go. The presser couple games ago was the last straw. Obviously, he’s looking long term…. THIS IS 2014, NOT 1994!!!!! The league changes very quickly, and that means the team has to turn around within 1 to 1.5 years. (sad as it seems for old timers, this is the reality we face today). We need to be looking forward in BOTH long term and short term, not just one.

    2: Pressure Oates. The current (or let’s hope and wish, new management) needs to give him the ultimatum: Either the team makes the playoffs next year, or he’s out, regardless of what happens between today and end of regular season. This hopefully will pressure him to make significant changes, whether or not Ovi likes or not. We need to take advantage of all the trades we got this year to the fullest extent, not let it go all to waste……. (example of another team with this situation: Canucks, who may be in worser situation, since they got rid of good draft position. Speaking of drafts and trades…..)

    3: Trades, and Drafts. Time to get rid of guys that are problematic. As much as I like Mike Green overall, it’s time. We need a new defenseman that can make huge impact. Also, take advantage of the drafts as much as possible. We got some players that seems expendable at this point. Trade them for better draft position. (speaking of trades, on the side note, don’t worry about Erat getting better in Phoenix, I don’t think it’ll get much better for him there in the long run sadly.)

    I have to agree with Peter here. For those requesting the person who shall not be named returned to the site, no, now is not the time. It would be too inappropriate given the current situation.

  • alchemistmuffin

    I can guarantee you, this is not a good solution. Hell, Anaheim in my opinion is a ticking time bomb. Somewhere between next season and 3 to 4 seasons from now, they’ll be in the same boat as 2009 and 2010 Capitals: Disappointment after disappointment leading to extremely frustrated fan base. Once Teemu retires (speaking of which, I still am angry at him thanks to Olympics), I have a feeling things will start to go somewhat awry really quickly.

  • Owen Johnson

    If the Caps start bad next season, I can almost guarantee Oates will be fired mid-season.

  • dylan wheatley

    this team has no jam

  • VeggieTart

    I’d rather see him fired at the end of the season and a coach with, oh, I don’t know, NHL COACHING EXPERIENCE brought in so they don’t have to change “systems” mid-season.

  • Matt Root

    The most non-fun thing about this team isn’t that they lose some games but the fact they are so mentally weak. I feel like this has been an issue for so many years. Link Bruce’s speech for the millionth time, the message is still so valid. It’s a huge reason why I miss my favorite player of all time, Sergei, because he provided an environment that didn’t collapse when things went bad. Just hard to get excited about watching a team that hangs their heads during the game, shows little to no effort, and deploys the same head slamming into wall style/lines/strategy.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    “And we’ll keep trying to make hockey as fun to read about as it is to watch.”

    Well at least the bar is set pretty low, so you got that going for you.

  • JenniferH

    This! This! This! I want Adam Oates gone so hard. I really wish that he’d been let go after the 7-game losing streak earlier this year. Maybe things would be different now. *sigh*

  • Georgoroth

    We may have an old painting of us lying around that you could use. It was done by a lovely young British fellow before his descent into gibbering madness and pre-mortem decay. This was before Facebook, you see…

  • Joe

    It’s time for GMGM to go and Oatsie as well. This team needs to dump some of these players cough Mike Green, and start to move on with some of the younger more hungrier guys.

  • CapsCast

    I think at this point it might be more appropriate to put up a picture of King Joffrey, Ramsay Snow, or something like that. That’s kind of how I’m feeling about the Capitals right now

  • CM

    Sigh Peter. You ever feel like is no party now and is no party ever again??

  • Georgoroth

    “And the Red Men shall despair, and the horn shall fall silent, and the goat shall sacrifice his holdings.” Yes, YESS It is happening! Very soon now The Messenger shall flee and the Machine shall surely break. The prophecy is nearly complete. To think, your rabid fandom once held us beyond the veil, Red Men. But no longer. NYAHAHAHAAAAAA!

  • Georgoroth

    Verily, they also lack the crucial “slam”

  • Bobandy

    Matt Bradley is my favorite player of all time! He was obviously a great locker room guy, and would throw his body around with reckless abandon. Whenever he would bleed all over the ice the caps always seemed to come back and win. And that line of Bradley-Steckel-Gordon would drain the energy out of any of the other team’s top lines, and give our guys a breather. Nothing against the individuals we have in the bottom six now, but we do not have anything close to a line like that.

  • scrubversive

    If I ritually sacrifice a newborn child to you – do you think you might find it deep within the inky black abyss you call a heart to complete the rites that will get us into the playoffs and subsequently crush our feeble minds again with an epic 7 game series culminating in a demoralizing loss?

    I’m sure such an occurrence will deflect the focus of Average Joe DC/Hockey away from your dark influence and continue their misguided journalistic crusade against the enigmatic, lazy, enigmatic, inept, and enigmatic Russian. Your Unholiness should be able to utilize the smokescreen of confusion long enough to continue your reign of insidious corruption.

    Hail Georgoroth!

  • Georgoroth

    Pathetic, simpering Scrubversive! Do you think we require surreption any longer? The Red Men have despaired, the cycle is upon us! Mora the Seer foresaw this fall and your sycophantic appeal when he intoned: “Playoffs? Speak thou not of playoffs! Playoffs? Surely thou jest!”

    And yet… we do like newborns.

  • Sean Barnes

    Just gotta do what your guys shirt says and “keep calm and never break”

  • Hockey mom

    I can see your point, but not hustling toward the net/ man you are covering/ the puck is not a system issue. Sloppy passing is debatable–is it the players or lack of practice–as a system issue. I fear they have a serious work ethic issue and or mentality issue.

    On any given game, it seems that only half the team “shows” up. The games when everyone is on their game and clicking, it is amazing and FUN to watch.

  • You’re so right. I was really hoping Silfverberg would be stronger than he is. Injuries and all, but I’m still disappointed.

  • I propose we organize a protest wherein we all take packets of instant oatmeal and throw them onto the ice before a game. I’m willing to buy a case or two from Amazon or Costco and hand out packets in front of Verizon Center. Who’s with me???

  • johnnymorte

    GMGM has made some really bad choices over the years to get us to this point. Kuzya coming over has really deflected a lot of that sentiment. You can’t build a SC team by drafting alone. You have to make good choices and add pieces in areas where you need help.

  • bggb

    I’d consider wanting BB back if and when I see him win a 2nd round series, let alone conf finals or SCF.

  • CAPS N O’s

    You know what this reminds me of…. 6:00 AM. Alarm clock playing. “I got you babe….. I got you babe’….
    It’s Ground Hog Day….
    This team is really depressing me. depressing. with Capitals D.

  • Lawrence

    Wow, never thought I would miss those times as much as I am missing them now. 🙁

  • bggb

    And that’s why Oates should be fired now or at the end of the season: the odds of Oates adjusting, or a lightbulb going on, seem low to me.

    In that case you are infinitely better off firing him soon and hiring someone at the start of the off-season than you are scrambling for scraps in the middle of a season.


    I don’t like him as a person, but he’s a veteran coach who’s won before.

  • Lawrence


  • Seth Winship

    I have been watching the Capitals since birth. My dad was watching a game in the room while I was being introduced to the world. Don’t let me be the only one here that’s sticks with the Caps thru every bit of struggle. They will pull thru. And when they do I want to be one of the fans that didn’t give up hope. GO CAPS!

  • Karee Lyn

    I made the mistake of actually clicking on the “Beat Dat Beat Up” link and it transported me to a sad place where all the former players that I miss so dearly are gaily frolicking about.

  • Veloj

    At least in Ground Hog Day universe, it was stuck in the same season and offered a chance for Phil to improve himself. This sad GMGM universe allows the seasons to roll on by while the Caps just get worse

  • Veloj

    Summer is Coming!

  • Robert

    I don’t know, if you really, really lower your expectations, the games still have their moments. For instance, I get very excited every time there’s a controlled offensive zone entry.

  • Owen Johnson

    That’s pathetic. But true /.-( emoface

  • Chip

    I agree 100% with Owen Johnson. While I follow a lot of hockey pundits and that’s all well and good, RMNB is one of the main reasons why I fell in love with hockey so hard. You guys make winning even better and make losing hurt a little less. Can’t thank you guys enough for that.

  • JH

    Seriously. I mean, was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

  • jennrubenstein

    this is so depressing. last night’s recap was the first i can remember that didn’t make me bust out laughing, even after a crushing loss. i’ll be at friday’s pi day game vs the canucks… we’ll have fun no matter what, dammit.

  • jennrubenstein

    omg i miss that line so much. brads + stecks = best.

  • johnnymorte

    Greatest checking line ever. Now that was a team of yore.

  • Owen Johnson

    I think he sucks too. Only problem is, I don’t want the Caps to become one of those teams that changes coaches all the time. Let’s see how he does without CalleJo, who, by the way, needs to be fired YESTERDAY!
    But, if Oates gets fired before this season is over, no tears will be shed on my part.

  • RT23

    I loved that line but I do need to disagree somewhat. We do have a line that compares to that one – Ward-Chimera-Insert Name Here (lately Fehr) compares favorably with that 4th line. Unfortunately they are our 3rd by name, and 1st in overall quality most nights.

  • RT23

    Even if it is over and you are fed up with the GM and Coach you still have to “support the team” (no face painting though). Let my 12 yr old be an example to us all. He wore his RMNB Deadquins jersey to school yesterday and his Ovi jersey today. Best way to face the storm is head on.

  • yv

    How about that in Russian InoProSport site (foreign press about our sport) : “Благодаря усердной работе Иана Оланда и Ханны Имиольчик, мы имеем возможность предоставить вам подробный фотоотчет этого события. Thanks to the hard work of Ian Oland and Hannah Imiolchik, we are able to provide you with detailed photo report of this event…” (google translation from Russian of rmnb blog about Kuzya’s debut ). More than 1600 looks of the article, the most among others. RMNB becoming a valuable source in Russia. Next step ‘d be when they will place your logo on source news logos, among BBC, Times, etc.!)

  • RT23

    It wasn’t Halak. It was our ridiculous, panicked, over-reaction to Halak that began our downfall. We weren’t the most balanced team and a Cup was far from a certainty but we were positioned to be a frontrunner for at least several years. All we’d need is a few things to break our way one year to get at least one Cup. If we could attract 2 more really good D then we might have been a lock for multiple finals and maybe multiple Cups.

    Instead we freaked out because a goalie got very good and very lucky for 3 games in a row and we tried to change our whole approach. First we became inconsistent, then boring and now just bad. Very very sad.

  • Hockey mom

    It might be time for a sing-along…Let it go! The cup never interested me anyway!

  • scrubversive

    Alright, Caps hockey has finally driven me insane. I became so consistently overloaded with a potent combination of rage and misery that my brain has habituated and is no longer able to respond appropriately. It seems as though I’ve been blacking out and worshipping Georgoroth to sublimate my suppressed emotions. Damn.

  • Hockey mom

    Love it! My girl wears Caps stuff almost every day, too! Her Holtbeast shirt is her favorite!

  • Owen Johnson

    Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle, but put me in Summer and I’ll be a …. happy Caps fan!

  • Diller M

    “It doesn’t validate anything,” Boudreau replied. “I think the way we play is the way we were built, and if we had to make all these guys into checkers and play a trap game, I think it would have been a pretty boring team to watch, and we wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful as we were.”

    This is what I keep screaming about! We need an identity and a roster built around an identity. It doesn’t matter what the identity is, just build your roster around a system and stick to it! All roster decisions should be based around the identity. We had it, lost because of a statistical anamoly and have been lost ever since. If they choose an identity and make the roster changes necessary we will be fine, but right now, we are totally adrift.

  • Diller M

    BB has a very clear idea of what he wants to do, as long as the team identity is supported this system can and will work. When people get scared and try to make changes that dont fit the framework, thats when things go sideways

  • Matt Mendelsohn

    RT23: I think you are 100% correct. The panic set in after that series, a series in which we actually played pretty well, though Halak’s heroics stole the story line.

    For me, a sense of dread crept in even before that when we dealt Tomas Fleischmann. Never quite understood that move and for me, that was the beginning of the long, slow decline.

    Number 2 milestone was a killer for me–the utter disregard with which we treated Mike Knuble, culminating with his 1,000th game night, where GMGM gave him a jet ski, even while he was healthy scratching him all month. Mike was a prince of a guy, he played with great heart, and we still have not repaved his particular brand of net-crashing.

    Number 3 was dealing Matty P. See above re Knuble. The way me miss Knuble’s veteran sense of net crashing, we miss Perreault’s bumble bee style of play. Too short my ass. We miss him.

    Number 4 is a toss up. Matt Hendricks and a bunch of other moves, including the Erat trade (and I was not an Erat basher) that still leave me puzzled.

    And last but not least,a t least for me, is getting rid of Bruce Boudreau. “He’s lost the team” went the rationale, but can anyone say that either Dale Hunter or Adam Oates has ever “had” the team?

  • Alicia

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Bring back the Professor!

  • Diller M

    While sticking to an identity! Don’t bring in grit guys if you have a puck control speed team, don’t get speed guys if you are a wall control trap team….

  • Myan

    Admittedly, I was not a Caps fan until June 2011 and I didn’t even follow hockey. When I looked up our records from 2008-2012, I couldn’t believe that this team was capable of over 100 points in an 82 game season! I wasn’t there when we were great but it’s thoroughly depressing to see where we are now even compared to where we were when I started watching! I can’t imagine how disappointed those of you who have been here since 2008/2009 must feel.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    This is what getting old is like. This feeling right here. Enjoy being young. I wish I did more. 🙂 on another note. what’s the most i should spend on my sharks/caps tix….in san jose…i’m going in this car.

  • alchemistmuffin

    Which I am very afraid might happen after this season. From the looks of it, I think Ducks might have begged Teemu to come back instead of retirement. If a team has to beg, then they were ready to make a change that would’ve gone sideway and not fit the framework.

    I am afraid though, after watching some of their games this year (especially the freeway series, since my third favorite team is the Kings), they may not have a solid replacement for Selanne.

    If BB does handle this situation better, then he obviously learned a lot the Capitals fiasco. If not, all I can say to the Ducks fan is, “you should’ve seen this coming”

  • Bugs Fire

    Eh, Germans? Is this meant as a joke?

  • Bugs Fire

    Relax, there is nowhere to go but up from here. They will get better, because they cannot get any worse. If you think Caps are now better than the worst team in the league, think again. They are Buffalo+Ovie. At this point, they can either stay as bad as they are or improve. Choose hope.

  • A_Shoe

    If you were spelling depressing with a Capitals D, I believe the correct spelling would be “epressing.”

  • Hockey mom

    Or a centering pass that goes to no one….and a juicy rebound with no one there to knock it in…all those things, keep me hoping that THIS is the moment where it is all going to turn around…

  • Jonah

    the caps are a bit like Ellen degeneres’ marriage
    no D
    sorry I’ve had to say it for a while and I’m just done by now.